Rainbow Bee-eater
Immature, head
Rainbow Bee-eater
Female, Front
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Chordates (Chordata) - Birds (Aves)
Order: Kingfishers (Coraciiformes)
Family: Bee-eater (Meropidae)
Species: Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus)
This Photo:     Male, Back (Defensive?)

EXTRA - Photo Specific Information:
The ruffled feathers here are not the wind. We suspect the male does it for some level of protection? Regardless he has raised his feathers on purpose, as we approached.
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee), and elsewhere
One of the most colourful birds that visit. Smallish. Black, yellow, blue, green and brown / chestnut.
Juveniles don't have the tail extension, while the female's is shorter than the male's.
They make their nest underground.
We've seen flocks of up to 12 bee-eaters, mostly juveniles, which has been a real treat for us.
While the adults have red eyes, the juveniles we've seen have black eyes.
They seem to ruffle their feathers, perhaps as some sort of defensive pose, or cooling? Or perhaps the bee gave him indigestion
There was no wind in the photo's with the ruffled feathers.
They look like woodswallows when in flight, but if the sun catches them, they are so beautiful with the chestnut under wing colours.

Copyright © 2013- Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 28-Jan-2013
This species is classed as LC (Least Concern) in the Murray Mallee, by DENR (Regional Species Status Assessments, July 2010)